Happy Birthday America - A Recipe for Summer Fun

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Flag of United States  , Oklahoma
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday America - A Recipe for Summer Fun

Happy Birthday America and praise God for letting us live free in this beautiful country.

This week families will celebrate Independence Day with parties, picnics, campouts, swimming, ballgames, firework displays and a multi-colored host of other activities.

I thought I'd share some of my family's recipes with you for simple summer fun.  Begin by livening up your celebration with a bold display of patriotic colors.  This can be done inexpensively with streamers, balloons and American flags, so splash your patriotism all over the place.  The Party Place, located behind Dillard’s in Ft. Smith, has loads and loads of inexpensive patriotic décor to get your Uncle Sam on, and I found pinwheels, plates, napkins, fans, flags, patriotic leis and even an Uncle Sam hat.

This year boost the energy level and competitive spirit with a horseshoe tournament and a watermelon seed-spitting contest.  Toss some Brats on the fire and include some of my family’s favorite dishes. 

To help make your liquid refreshment time ingenious, here is an idea that’s refreshingly cool and fun.  Freeze ice cubes made of sweet tea, lemonade, Kool-Aid, etc. Put cubes in mason jars and fill with the same liquid refreshment as your cubes.  For example, sweet tea with sweet tea cubes, lemonade with lemonade cubes.

Add slices of lemon or fruit (lemon slices in lemonade, strawberry slices in strawberry Kool-Aid) in the juice filled jars and top with rings and lids. This will keep your drinks chilled without becoming watery.  You can also use mason jars to make ice cream floats up ahead of time.  Put drinks and/or ice cream floats in a large ice-filled galvanized tub or a bright red wheelbarrow and decorate with American flags. 

Have a Happy Birthday America and remember those who have served our country valiantly so that we may live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

A Recipe for Summer Fun

My aunt Joyce’s Smokehouse Beans

1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
Place in skillet and cook until meat is browned.  Put in crock pot.
Next cook ½ pound bacon until crispy, drain and chop.  Add to crock pot along with the following:
1 can pinto beans with jalapeno peppers
1 can pork & beans
1can great northern beans
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 can lima beans
1 Tbs liquid smoke
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup catsup
Garlic salt to taste
½ cup picante sauce (optional)
Cook on high until bubbly, turn to low then simmer 1 to 2 hours.  The longer they simmer the better.  I like to let them go at least 3 hours.


My Nana’s Shrimp Dip – Perfect with those big fat Fritos

1 package small frozen shrimp thawed and drained
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch party dip mix
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs Worcester sauce
Mix well and chill


Nana’s Strawberry Dip (works well for other fruit too)

1 pkg cream cheese softened
1 jar marshmallow cream
¼ tsp almond extract
Mix with mixer until smooth


Mom’s Picnic Eggs

12 hardboiled eggs sliced in half (set aside) and remove cooked yokes to bowl.
Mash cooked yokes and add the following.
½ cup mayo
4 to 6 bacon strips cooked crispy, drained and chopped
2 to 4 Tbs finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs spicy mustard
1 Tbs honey
¼ tsp pepper
Mix all ingredients together.


Cousin Julie’s Easy Apple Dumplins (she got this recipe from my Aunt Joyce)

I’ve shared this recipe before but it deserves a reprint.
2 cans crescent rolls
2 medium apples
2 sticks oleo
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 12 oz can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples, cut each into eight pieces.  Wrap each apple slice in a crescent roll and place in 9 x 13 baking pan (spray with Pam for easier cleaning.)  Melt oleo in sauce pan, add sugar and cinnamon to butter.  Pour over crescent rolls.  Pour can of Mountain Dew around edges of pan and between dumplings.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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